Coffee Drinks For Summer-Recipes!!

Its summer and the schools are all out for the holidays and it is time to start thinking about how you can capitalize on the season by adding summer beverages to your menu. They are easy to make, have a high profit factor and can bring a whole new customer base into your business. You can introduce one or two to start with or look at a whole range of new cold beverages.

Coffee can be made several ways as a base for cold beverages, the two best are using shots straight from an espresso machine or cold filtered with a long brew in cold water overnight.

If you already have a blender then the variety of beverages is almost endless. If you don’t have a blender and don’t want to spend the $1500 – $2000 for a top of the range commercial model then check out some of  used equipment websites on the net or if local health and safety laws allow it, head on down to your local Walmart or appliance store and buy a good domestic model. Don’t forget to order spare blades, o-rings and have at least two blenders on hand. One for milk based products and one for juice based products. Label one “Dairy” and the other “Non Dairy” You have to be careful not to mix them up for your lactose intolerant customers.

Coffee based cold beverages are always a favorite while the Italian sodas and fruit juice based smoothies are hot items on any beverage menu.

Check your local supplier for flavored syrups including Mocha, chocolate powder both sweet ground and white chocolate and cookies and a few of the tiny candy bars that can be blended with the milk based beverages to add that WOW factor.

Some of the flavored syrups that you should think about are:

Caramel

Vanilla

Strawberry and any other berry that you think will do well in your market

Lime

Orange

Hazelnut (make sure it does not contain any actual nuts)

Anything else that will appeal to your customers 

Be creative and try combinations that you believe will work. Test them on your team and family.

Here are a couple of easy recipes that are standard throughout the world to give you a start. You will have to play around with exact measurements dependant your glass size.

Italian Soda

A shot of flavored syrup over ice and top up with soda. Garnish with lemon slice, parsley or mint

Iced coffee

Shot of espresso or double amount of cold filter coffee over ice and top up with milk

Vanilla, Caramel or Coconut iced coffee

Add a shot of the appropriate flavored syrup

Iced Mocha

Make iced coffee as above with ice to almost the top of the glass and pour into blender add a tablespoon of sweet ground chocolate powder and blend till smoot and no ice chunks left. Pour into original glass and sprinkle with chocolate powder.

Oreo Smoothie

As above but add one or two Oreo cookies and blend till smooth

Fruit Smoothies

Use only high quality pure fruit concentrate made especially for the beverage market.

In a glass quarter fill with water another third of fruit puree and heap the rest with ice. Pour into a blender and blend till smooth and no ice chunks left. Pour into the original glass and garnish with fresh fruit if necessary. Mix and match to liven things up or add fresh fruit to make a healthy option.

A couple of tips:

  • For carryout use clear plastic cups with lids that allow whipped cream to be added above the cup line.
  • Have chocolate sprinkles and chocolate powder in shakers for the customers to add themselves
  • Make whipped cream an option, free of charge if possible or build it into the price and advertise “Free Whipped Cream”
  • Daily or weekly specials on a chalkboard is always a good way to advertise and gives it that “Fresh Daily” feel.
  • Most chocolate powders are pre sweetened as are the fruit smoothie puree’s but the iced coffees and real fruit smoothies are not so think about sugar packets or simple sugar syrup as a sweetener.

Good mixing and don’t forget to be creative.

Are You Serving Good Coffee?

On a recent short break I had the pleasure of spending a weekend in a very exclusive mountain lodge in Western North Carolina. Magnificent views, fantastic service, private hot tubs in the rooms, first class restaurant, and a bar with a multitude of fine single malt scotch….. you get the idea.

The first night we had a superb meal followed by drinks and a chat with our fellow guests and a bit of a late night. The next morning feeling a bit fuzzy we wandered down to breakfast looking forward to some great bacon and eggs and a couple of gallons of good coffee. Hey we all know that bacon, eggs and coffee are the only cure for feeling a bit fuzzy!

After ordering breakfast and waiting somewhat impatiently we nearly fell over backwards when on the first sip (even before that because you could smell it) we found that we had been given truck stop coffee! Weak, institutional, probably Robusta beans drained through a recycled paper filter and left to cook for a couple of hours on the hot plate, (my wife calls it schoolhouse coffee and I wonder what type of school she went to!).

The point is that good coffee machines can be bought or leased on a monthly basis or on a per cup basis so easily so why would a high end resort still be serving truck stop coffee? Does the average American or visiting European not complain?

Let’s not stop there. Look at all the great diners that have been around since Buddha was a boy, most of them are the same. Does the general coffee drinking population still think that truck stop coffee is ok? Do that not expect any better from a high end establishment? Am I totally wrong in thinking that most people would prefer a good Arabica blend cappuccino or latte. Maybe it’s the time I spent in Europe where a great coffee costs round about a Euro and it is hard to get a bad cup of coffee.

It is worth the expense to serve a good product not just the food. Your customers will appreciate the change in quality and you don’t have to charge Starbucks prices.

Think I am going to put some more thought into this subject and in future talk about how you might add good coffee to your small restaurant.